The NHL, as many expected, announced today the cancellation of the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
The game was set for Jan. 1 between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition, NHL announced all Hockeytown Winter Festival events scheduled for Dec. 16-31 at Comerica Park in Detroit also were cancelled.
The NHL said the next Winter Classic – between the Red Wings and Leafs - and Hockeytown Winter Festival would take place at the University of Michigan and Comerica Park, respectively. It said anyone who have purchased tickets for the 2012-13 events can either receive refunds or maintain their tickets for the future events.
"The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today's decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events. We look forward to bringing the next Winter Classic and the Hockeytown Winter Festival to Michigan."
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, in a statement, said: “The NHL’s decision to cancel the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners’ implementation of the lockout itself. The fact that the season has not started is a result of a unilateral decision by the owners; the players have always been ready to play while continuing to negotiate in good faith. We look forward to the league's return to the bargaining table, so that the parties can find a way to end the lockout at the earliest possible date, and get the game back on the ice for the fans.”